How I Met Your Mother Series Finale Review: 5 Big Shockers

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First off, if you haven't watched the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, STOP READING NOW.  Spoilers ahead! 

Consider yourself warned....

There were plenty of surprises in "Last Forever," but most of all it taught us that almost nothing actually lasts forever. How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 23 opened with Ted saying goodbye to his friends as he planned to leave for Chicago. 

Robin and Ted did their goofy salute. Marshall made jokes. Lily cried and got an ET goodbye that was just a little creepy and Ted and Barney did a high-five to echo throughout eternity.  All of it seemed a fitting end. 

Until Ted showed up back at MacLaren's the very next day. 

The old lady on the train platform pointing out the beautiful girl with the yellow umbrella holding the bass was the perfect foil for Ted. And I loved how Ted kept telling her…

Just be cool, Lady. Damn.


Because Ted was anything but. The next day, Marshall worried about his friend. That Ted keeps doing this. He falls too hard too fast and scares off his potential love. But Lily could see it. This was different.  This was destiny calling.

Just as I was riding the high of true love, things took a turn.  

Big Shocker #1: After three years of marriage, Robin and Barney weren't happy. She was traveling around the world for her dream job but Barney was getting left in the dust. When Robin offered him an exit ramp from their marriage, I never expected that he'd take it.

When the two announced to their friends that they had divorced. I, like Lily was devastated. 

I've been a huge fan of Barney and Robin since they got together the first time and although I never expected their marriage to be easy, I truly believed it would last. 

So as How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 24 opened, I was more than I little ticked off. We'd just spent an entire season leading up to Barney and Robin's wonderful wedding, only to have their entire relationship dismantled in the matter of minutes. 

Lily made them all promise to always be there for the big moments but it would never be the same. 

Lily and Marshall eventually had to move from their beloved apartment when their third child was on the way. After years of enduring a miserable existence in corporate law, Marshall finally became a judge and eventually ran for State Supreme Court. I expected nothing less.

Barney reverted back to chasing anything in a skirt. As he explained to Lily in this How I Met Your Mother quote

If it wasn't going to happen with Robin, then it's not going to happen with anyone.


I found that heartbreaking. Barney truly loved Robin and as Lily pointed out, having a playbook at 40 was just sad. That's when we got to…

Big Shocker #2… As Barney lamented the loss of his "Clooney years" when #31 became pregnant, I couldn't help but smile. Somehow I always knew he'd make an amazing dad and if there was one female in the universe who was meant to capture his heart, it was baby Ella. 

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.


Nothing was funnier than watching Barney Stinson, the life of any party beg to go home at 9:45pm so he could get some much needed sleep. 

Big Shocker # 3 was that Ted and Tracy (The Mother) still weren't married after having two children. What on earth were they waiting for?

I'd get married tomorrow in a White Castle but this guy needs more of a wow factor.

The Mother

After five years and two kids, the two finally decided to get married on a Thursday and they celebrated with their friends at MacLaren's instead of a castle in Europe. 

One of the things I loved about this scene was that Tracy was the one to make sure that Robin was there. Where so many of Ted's previous girlfriends were intimidated by Ted's relationship with Robin, Tracy wasn't. She knew it was important for Ted to have his best friend present on their big day. 

Big Shocker #4…As Ted finished telling his kids about he and their mother's romantic first meeting in the rain under the yellow umbrella, we find out that Tracy became ill and died six years earlier. I found that horribly sad. For as little screen time as they had together, they really did seem to make the perfect couple. 

Finally, we got to…

Big Shocker #5…The kids push Ted to pursue "Aunt Robin."  I had mixed feelings about this. I sort of hated that Robin was made out to be such a selfish loner for much of the finale. Not that there wasn't precedent for it. It was certainly within character. Robin was always career driven but I hated that she let that passion for her work end her marriage and drive a wedge between her and her friends. 

So, in the end I wasn't sold on a Ted and Robin pairing. I always believed that they were meant to be friends. The best of friends, but as a couple I'm still not sure they work. I suppose we'll really never know. But the reappearance of the French horn was a nice touch. 

Either way, I look back on the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother with lots of smiles. I'm only sad that the story is over. 

What did you think, TV Fanatics. Should Ted and Robin have ended up as a couple?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


Not pleased at all. F****r spends 9 GD years finding a wife and she dies in the same episode they get married in. SOB’s should be shot. Then he marries the one everybody wanted him to end up with from the first few years. What a f*****g waste.


Not pleased at all. F****r spends 9 GD years finding a wife and she dies in the same episode they get married in. SOB’s should be shot. Then he marries the one everybody wanted him to end up with from the first few years. What a f*****g waste.


Like many other fans, I didn't like the finale. Full circle is one thing, making an entire series mute is another. Why did Ted and Robin go through all that just to end up in literally the same place they were in season 1? It makes all that growth pointless. Also, when they revealed the mother, they managed to create a sweet, quirky character and we all loved her. Considering all the hype and expectation around this one character, I think they did a great job. Then they kill her off. But not only did they kill her off, no one seemed to care all that much. Yes, it's apparently been six years but we didn't see that. I have a parent who died 11 years ago, I'm supportive of my mom dating but when she talks about him, I still get a little sad. Those kids jumped straight to Robin, without even a single thought about their dead mother. Also, we never saw Ted mourn.So it looks like he went from marrying Tracey and having this amazing life with Robin again. That's part of the problem with all of those flashbacks, we get that there's supposed to be time passing but because we were getting so many of them, it didn't really feel like it. Barney and Robin divorcing. Why did you put them back together in the first place then? You spent a season getting them to the alter. The only storyline I liked was Barney becoming a father. That was sweet. The rest of the finale was a mashed together mess.

@ LelaRose

Not exactly with you on the Barney becoming a father, but otherwise a great analysis. I just thought that his commitment speech to the baby was the same as his to Robin. Hard to imagine he would follow through any more to the child...much less to the mother..."31".


Interview with Josh Radnor about the HIMYM-finale


I guess I'm a small majority, but I loved the last episode - My missing pieces was wrapped up perfectly for me when Ted was finally done talking with his kids. I always found it strange that he would talk about his love/friendship/relationship with Robin since basically at the beginning and not so much about their mother and of course his friends Barney, Lily, Marshall and his Life situations with them in it. Get real about Robin and Barney (not that I didn't like them together) - We have all been to weddings and said to ourselves "I give it a year or so", and it applies to Robin and Barney for sure.


For me, it wasn't really the fact that Ted is still pining/chasing Robin at the end of the finale, it was the way the writers portrayed his children. What selfish, shallow, brats! Although they may have thought it was fine for Dad to move on - after six years, after all - it's a completely different matter to be so enthusiastic about the fact that Dad has "always loved Aunt Robin" or always "had the hots for Aunt Robin", even during the years with their mother. Teenagers of that age who can so easily dismiss the fact that their Dad was longing for another woman while married to their dead mother (who they were old enough to remember when she died) just seem like horrible people to me. I think the writers intended that exchange with his smartass, selfish teens to be humorous, but it was actually an awful glimpse into their personalties and psyches - they show no respect for their mother or father. And the guy who valued love and marriage so much waited until seven years and two children later to marry the alleged love of his life? I don't think so… made it seem as if he was just hanging out with her while he waited for Robin to look his way again. I was left feeling that, if the Tracy character had lived, he would have probably cheated on her with Robin.

@ lakegirl63



i am very torn about it that is for sure.
i love that bareny had found love with his baby girl. but very upset that they wasted 9 years of telling us that ted and the mother were met to be only to have him go back to robin in the end


I was sorely disappointed with the finale.
Robin and Barney's wedding didn't only feature for a season, but for a lot longer than that. The wedding has been on the agenda for a few seasons. After all the twists and turns...I really thought they would make it last.
As for the mother dying...
Okay... so lemme get this straight... we have NINE seasons of Ted telling us how he met the mother... only to have her die and bring the story back full circle to have him chasing Robin. Robin is not cut out for relationships.... we is career driven... and not the soft romantic Ted is.
Somehow I feel like asking "what was the point"

@ nova

Great analysis!


every comment here translated: I didn't like WHAT the writers planned all along since the show began therefore the finale SUCKED and was weak wahhhh wahhhhhh" pathetic, laughable and pathetic

@ -----

bingo! you are right on target


Also if it was too hard for Barney, a man with no kids or real ties to New York who was always up for an adventure, to put up with Robin's constant travelling and focus on her career, how exactly is Ted Mosby one of the neediest clingiest most cautious male characters a show has ever seen, supposed to put up with it? He and Robin would never work. Abandoning the message of real, lasting, destined and difficult to find true love that the show had been working towards for so long just to revert to the gimmicky love at first sight (even though we have nothing in common, you chose my best friend and countless other men and opportunities over me and we have broken up a million times) is so childish and lazy, it's just a final slap in the face to the fans after this appallingly bad season.

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